Plan a Girlfriends’ Getaway to Yadkin Valley Wine Country

Elkin Creek Vineyard girlfriends wine tasting

Yadkin Valley wine country creates the perfect setting for a girlfriends’ getaway. Home to four small towns — Mount Airy, Elkin, Dobson and Pilot Mountain — there is plenty to do. The surrounding Blue Ridge foothills invite you to spend time outdoors, whether that means hiking at a state park or sipping wine along the Surry County Wine Trail.

The friendly atmosphere found in downtowns, tasting rooms and restaurants welcomes visitors looking for good food and drink without any pretensions. An easy drive from places like Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh and Roanoke, the Yadkin Valley is perfect for a girlfriends’ weekend in wine country.

Step 1: Lodging

Blue Ridge Cabin View with Yadkin Valley wine.jpg

First, choose a lodging property that suits your group. Mitchell River House in Dobson charmed filmmakers of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Longest Ride.” The movie prominently features the renovated farmhouse, which sleeps eight to 10 in three bedrooms with common areas and a great front porch (unlike the movie, hunky bull rider not included).

For rustic meets luxury, check out Carolina Getaway Cabins (pictured). With six to eight bedrooms, detailed architecture, wraparound decks and sweeping views, these properties provide upscale retreats with lots of amenities.

For a getaway in vineyards, the estate of Round Peak Vineyards has two winery vacation rentals with beautiful views of the vines framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is only steps to the tasting room. In addition to its award-winning wines, Round Peak owns a craft brewery and has those beers on tap. For an urban escape, the vacation house at Slighty Askew Winery in downtown Elkin is a great option. Located just behind the winery, it is upscale and walking distance to the tasting room and downtown restaurants. Slightly Askew offers more sweet wine options than most wineries in the Yadkin Valley.

Step 2: The Wine Trail

Girlfriends Getaway at Haze Gray Vineyards in Yadkin Valley NC

Second, make your plans for the main attraction – the wineries. The Surry County Wine Trail showcases 20 wineries in the heart of the Yadkin Valley. While many Southern wine regions are known for sweet wines, this area of North Carolina is ideal for growing European vinifera and French-American hybrid grape varieties used to make excellent dry and semi-sweet wines that pair well with food (and girlfriends’ getaways).

Allow for extra time at Shelton Vineyards in Dobson, the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina. Order a picnic from the winery’s Harvest Grill restaurant and enjoy it on estate grounds as you sip riesling, cabernet franc or petit verdot. JOLO Winery & Vineyards in Pilot Mountain elevates the tasting experience with appropriate stemware for each pour. Don’t miss dining at End Posts, JOLO’s upscale yet comfortable restaurant with an elegantly appointed dining room and patio overlooking the mountains. (Insider tip: reservations required for tastings and dining at JOLO)

For an urban experience, Old North State Winery in downtown Mount Airy offers wine tastings, lunch and dinner in a historic building, along with outdoor dining options. Its Restless Soul wine gets its name from the building’s resident ghost.

For Sunday “fun day,” reserve a few balls of pizza dough (yes, that’s how reservations are made) at Elkin Creek Vineyard. Pair your brick-oven pie with a glass of sangiovese or chambourcin.

Several area tour companies provide winery transportation, so your group can safely taste along the trail. Click here for tour options.

Step 3: Outdoor Adventure

Yadkin River kayaking North Carolina

Finally, don’t forget to include the outdoors. Pilot Mountain State Park has miles of hiking trails from easy to strenuous. Loop around the pinnacle base and peer into the valley as the view spans several counties. For a different take, see the park on horseback via several equestrian trails. Local stables offer guided rides.

The famed Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs right down Main Street in Elkin, which is proudly nicknamed a “trails town.” Cross foot bridges, discover waterfalls and then end up in downtown Elkin where you can toast your trek at a local restaurant or brewery. Just outside Elkin, your group can hike to a waterfall and winery on the same trail. For details, click here.

For an easy stroll, the Granite City Greenway in Mount Airy forms a six-mile horseshoe around town with multiple access points along the way.

Kayaking (or tubing) on the Yadkin River is another outdoor adventure for girlfriend groups. Rocky Forest River Run and Hometown River Co. both provide guided trips on the river.

A complete list of cabins and upscale vacation rentals is available here. To request a Surry County Wine Trail map or an outdoor recreation map, click here.